President Obama sat down at the proverbial “kitchen table” to explain how his economic program of government subsidies and credits would help Ohio couple Joe and Rhonda Weithman.
Luckily for us, we have experiments with economic policies courtesy of state governments. Maine and New Hampshire have similarities.
In 1946, per capita income was $9,610 and $9,768 for Maine and New Hampshire, respectively.
. . .
The result? Decade in, decade out, New Hampshire’s economy grew faster than Maine’s, so that the Granite State surpassed the Pine Tree State in 1984 and today boasts an output that is 20 percent bigger. Maine’s recessions and double dips were worse than New Hampshire’s. Eventually New Hampshire also won the population contest, passing Maine, in part thanks to migration. Last month, joblessness was 8.1 percent in Maine, better than Ohio but still bad, and 5.8 percent in New Hampshire.
What about that family pocketbook that the White House highlights? Bureau of Economic Analysis data show average per capita income for Maine in 2009 was $36,745, a bit more than Ohio. In New Hampshire that number was $42,831, eighth highest in the nation.